MUTV Group Chat: Ole exclusive
We’ve got a treat for you! Ole Gunnar Solskjaer joins the panel to discuss our training return, Odion Ighalo and 1999...
TRAINING We’re back in training which has been great. The boys have been fantastic, the weather’s been good and they’ve enjoyed it. Hopefully now we’ve proved we can do this safely and we can move to the next step. It’s been really enjoyable being on the training ground again. FITNESS Everyone’s looking sharp, everyone’s been in with a good mood and we’ve been splitting up in groups so [working in] fours and fives together and they’ve really done well. Hopefully, they can as I said, step up and go to bigger group trainings but so far it’s been good. They’ve been looking after themselves, yeah. They’ve done well. Charlie the fitness coach, Kieran, Michael, Martin they’ve been on to them all the time. They’ve not had many days off. Zoom calls, video calls and of course the last couple of weeks they’ve been stepping it up. POGBA AND RASHFORD They’re looking good, they’ve joined training now and they’ve done everything the other boys have been doing. No reaction so far, touch wood. When we get started, it looks like we can have a full squad to choose from. READY? That’s what you do when you’re a footballer, you just want to play football. Of course, the first step now is coming together, obviously in small groups, but they’ve enjoyed that. I think when we start training in full groups, of course we need a bit of time to gel together again, but mentally they’re ready and physically they look okay too. IGHALO The loan deal went until the end of May now, so obviously he’s supposed to be going back. We’re in dialogue. They’ve been great towards us, his club and allowed him to play for his dream club. It’s been a dream for him and hopefully he can finish off what he started, hopefully with a trophy for us. At the moment nothing has been agreed. Their league is going to get started soon so we’re just waiting to see. CONFIDENT OF RESTART/BUNDESLIGA We’ve been watching what’s been happening in Germany. For us to follow their template, it’s important they can show everyone the way. It’s been great watching some live football, not just the old classics. We’ve been spending hours analysing our own games. But tonight with Dortmund v Bayern Munich, that’s going to be a fantastic game to watch. There’s no doubt that football is a bit different with no fans. There’s that extra edge with the fans that you’re not going to replicate. Football is for the fans but we want to play football and fans can watch on telly at least, if we can get to the next stage. Hopefully we can. IMPROVING STRIKERS I don’t think it’s down to me, it’s a whole team effort. Both [Martial and Rashford] have been on good seasons, maybe on their way to their best season at Man United so far with their goal tally. We’ve been working on a little bit of combination play, the understanding, the set patterns but also they’ve both grown and matured as they’re getting more experience, but as people I feel. They’re both top, top professionals and have done really well. The work’s down to them, me, Kieran, Michael, Martyn, Demps, we’ve just been giving them a little bit of extra finishing sessions. Of course, a run in the team will always help a striker with confidence. EXCITED ABOUT FULL SQUAD? Excited, yeah definitely. Everyone’s fit, they’re all fighting to get back in. It’s been two months now, a time to reflect and evaluate and come back strong. The ones who didn’t play, there’s a few there you can see already who want to fight for a place. Marcus and Paul, Eric and Scott, they’ve been away for a long time. To get everyone back, it’s fantastic for a manager. It’s a good problem to have. I’ve got to leave lots of players out in matchday squads. That’s just the way it is at a top club. Players have to fight for their place. I can’t wait to see them back on the training ground and work some patterns and get everyone used to each other again. TRANSFERS – STAY SAME OR WAIT? Of course, we’re always looking, we’re always following what’s happening but the transfer window will be open later, probably. So we’ll just have to finish off the season, see where we are and then probably do deals if there are deals to be done. BEHIND CLOSED DOORS – GET USED TO IT? I hope we don’t get used to it! Football is to be played in front of fans – passion, excitement. Going out at Old Trafford and playing, our fans appreciate how much a tackle – if it’s from a striker, that’s a boost for everyone. It’s going to be difficult, but we played against LASK just before lockdown and they played fantastically well. That must play in the boys’ head. We’re capable of playing without an atmosphere. You’ve got to create it yourself as well, within the team. I was impressed in that game, how focused we were. The gaffer always used to say concentrate, play with determination. Everyone plays with concentration, but that was focus. I’m sure we’ll do well, everyone wants to do well but I want the fans back as soon as we possibly can, when it’s safe.